International legal protection of human rights in armed conflict
United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
New York ; Geneva : United Nations, 2011
IV, 119 p. ; 30 cm
This publication provides a thorough legal analysis and guidance to State authorities, human rights and humanitarian actors and others on the application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law for the protection of persons in armed conflict. It addresses, in particular, the complementary application of these two bodies of law. Chapter I outlines the legal framework within which both international human rights law and international humanitarian law apply in situations of armed conflict, identifying some sources of law, as well as the type of legal obligations imposed on the different parties to armed conflicts. It explains and compares the principles of both branches and also analyses who the duty bearers are of the obligations flowing from international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Chapter II analyses the formal requirements for the concurrent application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, particularly from the perspective of the existence of an armed conflict and its territorial scope. It also deals with their limitations in such circumstances and discusses the problems resulting from their concurrent application. Chapter III deals with accountability and explores the legal framework determining State and individual responsibility for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. It also presents victims’ rights in the event of such violations. Finally, it gives an overview of the non-judicial forms of justice which can accompany (or in some cases be a substitute for) criminal justice. Chapter IV examines selected United Nations practice in applying international human rights and humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict, including practice by the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and its special procedures, the Secretary-General, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This chapter shows that the United Nations has a well-established practice of simultaneously applying international human rights law and international humanitarian law to situations of armed conflict, including in protection mandates for field activities, and provides numerous examples.